I want to make this clear. When I say Knackers, I don’t mean tinkers.


If I want to talk about tinkers, I’ll say Tinkers and that will be your clue that I mean Tinkers. It’ll be our special code-word.

So, no, I’m not talking about tinkers, but I will.  Sure as little apples, I will.  However, this evening I wanted to share with you my views on knackers, by which I mean dirty, lazy, useless fucking skobes. Lazy, ignorant miserable fuckers who want to do fuck-all except sponge off the rest of us.

Ooooppss!! Here come the social workers with Issues Around This. (Isn’t it strange how these people won’t say‚about? Everything is Around, in a fuzzy lovey touchy-feely kind of way).

Right, then. Disclaimer Number Two coming up.

By Knackers, I don’t mean The Poor, and I don’t mean The Vulnerable.

The Poor are people who have fuck-all, who can’t get work because they’re unable, for whatever reason, or because they’re burdened with illness or physical disability, or because they’re old, and got fucked over by the rich sharks of the eighties and nineties. No, I don’t mean The Poor. The Poor couldn’t afford to buy their children quad-bikes, could they? Of course not : by definition, if you can afford such luxuries, you’re not poor.

I’m talking about lazy, self-centred, sponging fucking Knackers!

I saw two kids about four years old today, both dressed in navy track-suits with white hoodies and white baseball caps, screaming foul-mouthed abuse at their mother, and I was thinking, Christ, I can see the future!

How did that happen? They’re four and already they’re knackers. Their father is probably eighteen, and a knacker.  Their grandfather might be thirty-two, a knacker and a thug. (Of course, that’s presuming their father and grandfather are actually two different people). For fucksake, their great-grandfather is only forty-six, a total skobe, a thug and a dyed-in-the-wool knacker, and their great-great-grandfather is a strong and fit sixty years of age. A complete bastard who’d bite your lips off if you looked at him crooked. At a pinch, even great-great-great grandad (74) would have a good go at you.

And you know what? Not one of these motherfuckers has ever worked a day in his life. Why would they, when they have wall-to-wall social workers who have concerns around them, and their at-risk children? It doesn’t matter how many baby Waynes and Deans, Harrisons, Tylers, Whitneys, Courtneys, Kileys, Beyoncés and Jodies these fuckers pop out. We’ll keep paying for them. Why? Is there some scheme to populate Ireland with violent Foetal Alcohol Syndrome halfwits?

You try being a genuinely vulnerable person.

Somebody who doesn’t scream and shout, because you’re too decent to behave that way. Somebody who sits quietly at home and wishes they had a home help for an hour a day. Someone who doesn’t demand a house. Someone who doesn’t accost and threaten Health Board employees in the car park.  Oh, you think I’m joking? Let me tell you something: it’s not the decent quiet people who get a State-funded house in the quiet suburbs. It’s the loud, aggressive, abusive ones.

Better still, why don’t you become an old person, break your hip and see how the services rally round to help you.

Dream on. The services are run by people just like you and me, with homes to go to and kids to worry about. They don’t need knackers waiting for them outside their offices in the early morning, as sometimes happens to Health Board staff. They don’t need skobes screaming at them across a desk.

And, by wanting a quiet life, the services are so in thrall to knackers that you, the vulnerable old person, will be lucky ever to see a single soul before you die of malnutrition.  Anyway, even if they do actually call on you, all they’ll do is ask you to count backwards from 10, before declaring you fit.

Of course, if you needed money for little Chakira’s tattoos and a new quad-bike for young Wayne, that would be a different matter.

65 thoughts on “Knackers

  1. Holy God, at least say you were joking about the Beyonces!

    The tough part’s the children though, isn’t it? They don’t stand a chance. From what they’re allowed to eat to what they watch on telly to the behaviour they’re allowed to get away with to the stuff they hear from ma and da, they’re thuggified by the time they go to Primary school. It’s a tough one to sort out.

  2. Q. does it matter what you mean when you say/write a word if that meaning is contrary to the common understanding of that word, surely the fact that you mean something other than that doesn’t matter?

    otherwise I could say: go fuck yourself, but while going by common understanding you’d be insulted if I said that but what I mean by “fuck your self” is “have a nice cup of tea, you deserve it ya crater”.

  3. Sam — Sorry. I didn’t make up Beyoncé.

    Mr The Law — It’s clear you didn’t grow up in this town where the expression Knacker has for generations denoted an uncouth class of person, as opposed to a member of the travelling community — a refined and noble race.

  4. TheLaw-Around here a knacker is a knacker is a knacker,and you can bet that great great grandaddy knacker will still have his medical card tucked away in the glove compartment of his 4X4 while a lot of those above mentioned deserving people will be told”go have a nice cuppa and then fuck yourself”.
    Yes Bock.Had an awful Beyonce experience

  5. The Law: What an odd pseudonym? I can only imagine that you’re real name is Tristan or something and you grew up in gated leafy suburb somewhere,where its easy to “identify” and “empathise” with people that would fucking cut the gold out of your teeth as soon as look at you,if you managed to defend yourself they would plea assault and then pull an insurance claim because they sprained their wrist of on the pavement where they fell,then they would get a 12 yr old to stab you a few months later….
    Hug a hoody???

    with a bicycle chain and cinder block into a river ??…yes

  6. …cough…. ok im calm now.. sorry Bock,went off on one there…

    We just got rid of a lovely “family” that were staying a few doors down from us..

    and by the way The Law ,by got rid ,i mean they were moved on after all the complaints about dealing from the house….

  7. What’s the difference between a knacker and a wanker? Me being from across the Pond, speaking a different tongue and all.

  8. P.S. I’m totally fucking 100% pure Irish, just been away from the Homeland for 150 years or so. (Except for those 3 Wild Days in 1999)

  9. Down here a wanker is a term of endearment whereas a knacker is unknown, it would be part of the “pensioner” family.
    Anyone who receives a government handout, deserving or not, is called a pensioner.
    A pensioner who calls his government payment “ pay..”, as in..on talking to the bank teller on a thursday morning, “ my pay in my account yet?”, – he’d be what you’d call a knacker. We don’t have a word for it though, dickhead – too gentle, white trash – too american, cunt – Aussies would rather die than say the “c” word.
    The term “Tenant from hell” seems to be a favorite, though. The person you’d gladly stab and feel no remorse over.

    Typically, a knacker in ireland.

  10. it’s the same here, sugar, y’all just have better names for that lot! xoxo

    (i just received an email from a friend about a student’s name: “la – a” and how to pronounce it according to the mother… ladasha because the dash isn’t silent!!)

  11. Mule Taker — In fairness, not all knackers own 100k 4x4s. Only the richer ones. But it would be fair to say that, rich or poor, they all know how to claim the freebies.

    Organdonor — I’m surprised at you. That family were at risk, and you should have shown more understanding, you smug middle-class bastard.

    Sugar Britches — Really? You’re familiar with this concept?

    Shannaboley — Not quite sure where you’re going with that.

    Jannie — I don’t know what terminology you’d use. It’s a kind of Jeff Foxworthy thing.

    Savannah — Ladasha. Exactly. That’s precisely what I’m talking about.



  12. I remember shortly before leaving Dublin, being in Burger King (as Bill Hicks used to say “I’m not proud of it, but I was hungry”) and hearing this skanger, or Dublin knacker if you will, shout right accross the room at the kids she’d left unsupervised, “Keanu, ge’ dow’in off da table, Brit’nee eat yar nug-nugs”.
    I actually had to leave. In those few words she’d unwittingly summed up 3 years of living on Dublins north side and I broke my hole laughing.
    I love the ladasha thing. If the child had been a boy he could have been called 4ister

  13. I saw one of these animals lately, park his big fuck off pick up truck lengthways across three disabled spots.
    This was in a supermarket with about 500 empty car park spaces.Having to walk an extra 10 yards was just too far for the misfortune.
    I put it down to having to carry the weight of all his gold chains.

  14. Have just reviewed replies to what i thought was a reasonably put question regarding your piece, am surprised at the personal direction of the comments that it has evoked particularly “mr organdonoer”, who scoffed at my pseudonym ( which is in fact self deprecating) and persumed background, the presumption which is both wrong and childish, if i might say.

    so in reply mr organdoner I am putting both thumbs into each of my cheeks, waving my fingers, sticking out my tongue and blowing in your general direction, thereby retaining the high ground and showing how a mature adult should react.

  15. Years ago, while in Dublin for the day, I heard a ‘wan’ say to her twin toddlers in the buggy – ‘Krystal, leave Alexis alone’!

  16. M’sieur le craic — Nug-nugs, eh? Keanu, eat your minced-up chicken-skin!

    Fan — There ya go. That’s the kind of savage I’m talking about. Would you say he was a grandfather or a great-grandfather?

    Morgor — What can I say except AAAAARRRRGGGHHH!!

    Eolaí — Classy or what? Sit down, Plantaganet!

    Mr The Law — Now that’s the fuckin spirit!!

    King’s Bard — Too sophisticated.

    Tango Granny — Ah, indeed. The days when people took their cultural references from Dynasty.

  17. Ahh yeessss, how one longs for the heady days of Dysentery, Dullarse, Flaming Goroad etc. when Men were men and women were shoulder pads on stilts and the coolest thing around was an “I shot JR” Teeshirt…

  18. De-humanising a section of society (and please-no smart ass “they were never human to begin with” comments) is the road to Nazism. Come down from your ivory towers, you elitist fucks.

  19. Martin, I am sure that anyone that has experience of living close to a knacker family would agree 100% with Bocks post. Most knackers are experts in the freebies and convinced that the world owes them a house, welfare, medical card and anything else they can get. Most knackers could become qualified solicitors because of their vast knowledge of the law how it protects them. I say could, because the concept of work is alien to them.
    Have a look at the communities that knackers live in and then comment on who is de humanising what. Ask neighbours that have to put up with the illegal rubbish dumping, intimidation, drug dealing and theft how human these knackers act?

  20. The Law – Even in Dublin the word knacker in the context Bock is using it is not contrary to the common understanding – because it has 2 distinct common understandings.

    Bock is not applying some random alternative meaning as you were in your example.

  21. Eolai, thankyou for that education, and I would reply only that i am completely knackered, must dash now as the knacker is coming around this evening and my house is smelling to high heaven with all the dead horses i have been saving up for his collection

  22. So we’re up to three distinct meanings:

    Knacker, as in horse slaughterer

    Knacker (derog) as in “member of the travelling community”

    Knacker (derog) as in “Ignorant idle aggressive thug”

  23. I’m knackered because I got a kick in the knackers from a knacker who works as a knacker collecting horses from knackers or translated as
    ” I’m not feeling so good because I got a kick in the testicles from an agressive thug that works as a collector of dead horses, collecting those same horses from members of the travelling community”.

  24. OK, so an ignorant, idle, aggressive thug who happens to be a tinker collecting dead horses would be three times a knacker. Maybe that’s where KKK came from. Then again, maybe not.

  25. I used to work as a water-sports instructor in a summer camp.

    It was actually heart-breaking. You’d see these absolutely lovely 5-6 year old children, friendly as hell, good fun and a pleasure to work with. Then you’d work up the classes from the same school. As you added a year they’d get more abrasive, more aggressive, ruder and cheekier until eventually it was a chore.

    The heart-break is that you KNEW that the lovely younger ones that were having the craic earlier would be just like the older ones the next year. It made me want to hunt down their parents. (I’ve no idea what I’d do to them, though).

    I did a similar job out in west Limerick a bit, and the majority of the kids, even the older ones, were much easier to work with (local).

  26. How did we all let this happen? Do-Gooding gone terribly wrong; failed social experiment; keep them on the dole, keep society controlled?
    Whatever theory, the situation still stinks, well, at least for those of us who are working and paying for it.
    As far as I’m concerned, they want their cheque, they can put in some time sweeping streets or picking up trash. (not the old or truly disabled, of course)
    What happened to the shame associated with having to be on the dole?


    That is the problem right there, they are not parenting. I suppose it’s not very legal to wring their necks is it?


    oh, the dash name, very good! That’s a new one. I’ll have to add it to my list along with:
    (mother had twins, like the orange and lemon hospital jello)
    Shi’thead (yes, really) (pronuciation rhymes with Sinéad)

  27. People who want to work feel uncomfortable on welfare. Those who regard welfare as a career option have no such concerns.

  28. then you need to smell like a knacker,talk walk and act like one and then theres the obligataury jewelry,haircut,tan and namecall….candeleire kenisha. Jes its hard work but someones gotta do it

  29. Yep Mule Taker, that’s what I was thinking.
    Lionel & Ritchie sound like good names for them too.

  30. -his girl friday
    I don’t think there’s any shame in being on the dole if you’ve been made unemployed. You’ve paid for it through your prsi after all. The dole exists to help people through until they can find another job. I believe it’s a social safety net thet’s very important to us all. The only shame is in, as Bock put it, when you look at it as a career. The people who abuse the system (our dear knackers) are unwittingly(no pun intended) contributung to the systems downfall. They are constantly giving a good excuse to those who would reduce the dole and other welfare for everyone.
    I do think the idea of doing some kind of community work while on the dole is a good idea. Perhaps not picking up trash, but something like a few hours a week in community projects.

  31. We used to have a safety net for people temporarily in trouble, and that was a very good thing. But these days, we have a lot of people who want to live in the safety net.

  32. Bock,
    er, not a safety net in that case, but a safety Hammock.

    C’esy La Craic,
    I agree with your comment. I’ve had two girlfriends who needed help when their exes left them and the kids in a bad situation. (not meant as a stab to men, btw) the ‘dole’ was used as intended.

    Picking up trash or serving in a soup kitchen is not ‘beneath’ anyone on the dole; in fact, it may assist them in their attitude(certain ‘career’ oriented ones) in realising that this isn’t an entitlement. Literacy classes, parenting classes, yes would be a good idea.

  33. Its C’est La Craic, not C’esy as I wrote, hence the adult literacy classes..
    But here’s an interesting tangent; What about coporate welfare? If there’s anything I hate more than a knacker, it’s a coporate knacker. Talk about there goes the neighbourhood !

  34. Bock, you proudly boast that you’ve been offending everybody since 2006. Now you know and I know that’s not true. Just look at the response to this post. Forty-odd and counting responses, virtually all agreeing with your point of view. Hardly offending people is it? What’s mildly annoying about your “knacker” piece and the responses it evoked is that it’s all so predictable. You take a stereotype, direct from the Murdoch school of social commentary, and using the same bullshit logic, imply that there’s a whole class of people creaming the system and if it wasn’t for them old people, cripples, orphans etc. would get their fair shake. “And you know what? Not one of these motherfuckers has ever worked a day in his life”. Do you know these people and their forebears personally? If not, how can you make such sweeping statements?
    Loved the responses, particularly “trash is trash” and “As far as I’m concerned, they want their cheque, they can put in some time sweeping streets or picking up trash”. Seems to be a recurring theme here. Monsieur La Craic suggested Adult Literary Classes. Clever. Just run a spell-check over the 13th Oct. post on your own blog, Monsieur. Now I know what you mean by offensive, Bock. You write a piece that’s designed to allow people to slag off others they consider to be intellectually inferior to themselves and to show how wonderfully witty they are by making fun of their kid’s names. Cool.

  35. -Martin
    First of all, if you read the post immediatly above yours, you’d have noticed that what I said about adult literacy classes in reference to a mistake I had made in a previous post.
    I’ll let Bock defend himself but maybe the responses to this post are as a result of other peoples own personal experieces that you know nothing about. My interpretation of Bocks post was that he was refering to a mind set, not a social class. And whether you chose to admit it ir not, that mind set exists.

  36. I’ll let Martin clarify exactly who he thinks this post is about before commenting further on his remarks.

    In replying, he’d do well to consider the fact that most, if not all, of us here come from working class backgrounds, and he might also want to reflect on the possibility that he’s projecting his own prejudices onto working class people.

    Furthermore, in view of the fact that most of us are far from privileged, he might like to specify exactly what he meant by “elitist” in his earlier outburst.

  37. C’est La Craic – apologies, our posts crossed. Of course I recognise that the mind-set exists. Just as I understand that a mind-set exists that blames “scroungers”, “spongers” and all the usual suspects for the fact that our Health/Welfare system is screwed. As I’ve already said ; we’ve heard this all before from Rupert &Co. Probably going to hear a whole lot more too, when the politicians and their mates in the media go looking for easy targets. I work in a shop in a working-class area, where I also live. I meet any number of people, on a daily basis, who fit the characterisations trotted out on this page. Some are a pain in the arse. The majority are good people. Ok Bock, you may not like their manners or the fact that they choose to name their kids after Destiny’s Child members but that’s just unfortunate. To be clear – I understand your piece to be about people who don’t feel uncomfortable about not working. I don’t think it’s anything like as big a problem as you depict. I also think it’s a complicated issue with a whole lot of different factors feeding into it. Sorry, am I coming across like a social worker? – I swear I’m only a humble shop assistant.

  38. Martin — If you have another look at this post, you’ll see that I don’t suggest our welfare system is screwed at all, so there’s no point criticising me for that. Likewise, I don’t blame scroungers or spongers for anything, so you’re wasting your time there.

    Furthermore, I don’t try to characterise any section of society as scroungers, spongers or anything else.

    If you read the post again, you’ll see that I haven’t mentioned a “problem”, nor have I tried to quantify it, and therefore I have nothing to say about that point you make.

    As Le Craic says, I’m talking about a mind-set, and not because it impoverishes us, but because I don’t like that mind-set.

    Finally, if I think somebody calling their child Beyoncé is an idiot, well, I’ll just have to take the flak for being an elitist, because anyone who does that is a fucking idiot.

  39. C’est,
    thanks for the clarification, though I took your suggestion literally since adult literacy is an ongoing subjuct here in the wonderful welfare state of California. Many kids, if they even graduate highschool, have trouble reading, as well as many immigrants vary on their level of speaking and understanding English.

    Well, obviously there’s much to be said for this subject. For the last fifteen years (at my work), I’ve more or less seen first hand, generations of those who’ve chosen ‘welfare’ as a career. Many of them are only superceded in their ‘entitlement issues’ by their arrogance. However, to be fair, I’ve also met many people who are living on assistance, and who are very thankful.
    It’s all about attitude; you can be poor and still have class.

    As you mentioned, Bock, it’s a mindset. And, obviously found elsewhere in the world. Perhaps, it’s not the issue of the ‘knackers’ that needs to be addressed, but the people in the respective governments et al who’ve enabled the ‘knacker’ culture to develop. Yet, you wonder, if you kick them off the welfare, will they go and get jobs, or just increase the crime statistics?

    As to the names…however amusing I find the nouveau names, I’m not sure what’s worse? To be named something nouveau or be named after some archaic saint.

  40. Hi Bock, this is my first time writing to you so I’m a novice at this, hope you can bear with me :) Knackers is a subject that really sets me thinking !!! What if teachers taught them to speak correctly from their first day at school…… that in years to come if they were let’s say mugging someone, they’d at least wouldn’t sound so terrifying……” excuse me, may I rob your phone and all your cash please “……instead of “giveus all your fuckin’ money and your fuckin phone sham “…..the trauma of it mightn’t be so bad if they had some manners and were polite about it…..;-) One thing that I’d really like to know Bock is this…….do knackers know that they are knackers ????? I wonder…..;-)

  41. Two things.

    Firstly, they’d have to say “May I steal your phone …”

    Secondly, of course they know they’re knackers. That’s why they behave like knackers.

  42. What I don’t understand is why do you put up with this type of behavior from people? Clearly if the majority of people in a city are not scumbags and some are why would you allow the scumbags to rule the city? I think the decent people need to stand up and say, “fuck no you can’t have my phone you little punk”, and beat his ass like his mother should have done.

  43. I hope that there are no real knackers reading this —- they might be offended !! A knacker is (or was) a man who dealt in old, dying and diseased horses and the knackers yard was a kind of aboitoir for horses. It was hard, dirty and bloody work and had I lived in the bygone horse era, I might have considered myself to be in an honorable job earning honerable money if I was a knacker. Strange how the name has come to mean something quite the opposite now.

  44. Au contraire. When I was a lad, the term knacker had nothing to do with people who slaughtered animals. And it also had nothing to do with tinkers.

    The word knacker simply meant a low, uncouth class of individual who didn’t know how to behave in a civilised way.

    But that was unique to Limerick. Everywhere else, it meant travellers, as I discovered later.

  45. I am guessing here but I would imagine that as the occupation of the knacker went into demise with the passing of the horse-drawn era the name went over to the tinkers as they were the last users of horses as the mainstay of transport and they still do have a peculiar mastery of handling horses to this day. As an expression of reference to a person, it certainly is (or was) looked upon as an expression of abuse at least in Dublin. I did a fair amount of work among the city’s low life and I remember clearly that calling somebody a knacker was one really good way of getting creased or ending up in bootlaces !!!!

  46. Fair point but you forget to add how knackers/tinkers are all interbreeding to prevent inbreeding! Useless, lazy, drug dealing b*****ds. They should all have been added to stalin and hitler’s lists.
    Some points to note:
    1. Only a knacker can claim disability, get a free house, medical card, free gp care own 3x50inch tv, spend everything in the pub and claim for extra assistance from the welfare office while someone who genuinely needs assistance is told, sorry your circumstances doesn’t qualify you.
    2. Only a knacker can jump under your car a swear “on our blessed lady” that you deliberately hit them.
    3. Only a knacker will claim that they are being discriminated against after they break up a public house.
    4. Only a knacker will play with there liathroidi (balls) – (its the hands down the trackies) while smiling and saying “wha’ ya ma’en ”
    5. Only a knackers’ eyes will light up when they see shinning copper.
    6. Only a knacker will have pave point defend them when they know they are I the wrong.
    7. Only a knacker can get away with robbing, stealing, holding people hostage while they have outstanding bench warrents!

  47. @dave, sorry dave but you mentioning of pavee point suggests you’re confusing knackers with knackers …

  48. @ dave, but, on the whole, everything else you say does indeed cover the known behaviour traits of a knacker.

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